Chris Gardner | Inspiration For The Movie "The Pursuit of Happyness", A Rags-to-Riches Story: From Homelessness to Wall Street

Chris Gardner

Inspiration For The Movie "The Pursuit of Happyness", A Rags-to-Riches Story: From Homelessness to Wall Street

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Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner is an entrepreneur, international best-selling author and an award- winning film producer. Gardner’s autobiography, The Pursuit of HappYness became a New York Times #1 best seller and has been translated into over forty languages, including six (6) dialects of Chinese and recently into Arabic. Gardner’s book, The Pursuit of HappYness was the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film in which Will Smith received the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for his performance. His second book, “Start Where You Are” also a best seller was published in 2009. Gardner’s new book “Permission to Dream” was selected as “Book Of The Month” by the Wall Street Journal upon its publication.

After ‘retiring’ from thirty-seven years in the financial services industry, Gardner has described himself as a 67 year old ‘start up’ with significant interest in fin tech. Gardner currently serves on the boards of Verify Me (VRME, NASDAQ), The Change Company (CDFI established by the U.S. Treasury Department) and Smart Easy Pay. Two years ago, Gardner became the oldest “recruit” in the history of the United States Navy and has spoken on behalf of the United States Navy on the issues of recruiting and retention of talent at Career Development Symposiums (CDS) at naval bases and air stations globally.

Gardner’s major priority is the work of his foundation, The Christopher P. Gardner Foundation which is working to change the trajectory of young people’s lives. Gardner has described this effort as “making an alternative investment in human capital.” Gardner is currently doing a “tour” that will have him speak at 1,000 public schools all across America.

Chris Gardner
Featured Videos

Current: Homeless to Wall Street

Time 10:31

More Videos From Chris Gardner

Homeless to Wall Street
Time 10:31
Speaking Reel
Time 06:09
Speaking Preview
Time 06:38
The CEO of Happyness
Time 03:45

Spiritual Genetics and the American Dream

Spiritual Genetics and the American Dream
The opportunity for prosperity, success, and gaining upward social mobility through hard work is the essence of the American Dream. Christopher Gardner has made this dream a reality and shares with audiences how to do the same with his concept of Spiritual Genetics -- learning what you're made of by tapping into your unknown potential. Gardner helps you identify the "P's" in your life — finding your passion, being practical, and having a plan. Then, he explores what he calls the C-5 Complex: being clear, concise, compelling, consistent and committed to the plan. All of these ingredients will leave audiences empowered, uplifted, and ready to make positive changes in their lives.

Hard Pivots, Atomic Time and a New Vision of the American Dream

Chris Gardner will be talking about where he is from, where he's been and where he is right now and how he got there. Chris will also be talking about the three most important decisions that he has made in his life which include Hard Pivots, Atomic Time and a New Vision of the American Dream. He will also share the greatest gift that he ever received which was the Permission 2 Dream.

Chris Gardner
Featured Books

The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner

The Pursuit of Happyness

by Chris Gardner

In a candid, intensely personal memoir, a successful entrepreneur traces his journey from growing up with an abusive stepfather, to life on the streets as a homeless man with a small toddler in tow, to his triumphant battle to the top as a self-made millionaire. 

Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Beby Chris Gardner

Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

by Chris Gardner

“Gardner is encouraging us all to start where we are and dare to make our lives bigger and stronger, more satisfactory, and better. Chris Gardner is a knockout!” 

—Maya Angelou

 Chris Gardner’s astonishing memoir—the phenomenal New York Times bestseller, The Pursuit of Happyness, which inspired the film of the same name starring Will Smith—served as a shining beacon of hope for countless people. In Start Where You Are, “a book that teaches you how to transform the impossible into the possible” (Sidney Poitier), Gardner offers indispensible life lessons in getting from where you are to where you want to be.

Permission to Dreamby Chris Gardner

Permission to Dream

by Chris Gardner

In the spirit of The Last Lecture, The Secret, and The Alchemist, this small book presents BIG ideas for turning your "one day" into today, including the generational transfer of a dream and a powerful blueprint for a masterpiece life--from the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir and major motion picture The Pursuit of Happyness.

On a winter's day, Chris Gardner set off with his nine-year-old granddaughter Brooke to find the harmonica of her dreams. The search sends them North "beyond the wall" into a foreboding Chicago neighborhood and, soon, on a harrowing adventure that will change both of their lives--and ours.

Chris is still mourning the loss of his girlfriend to brain cancer. Her question haunts him: "Now that we know how short life can be, what will you do with the time you have left?" After five years, he feels an urgency--what he calls, "Atomic Time" in which every second counts--to find an answer, but is stuck. Even while giving Brooke permission to aspire to one day become President of the United States, he knows it's time to reclaim his own permission to dream.

Lost, Chris and his granddaughter board a bus, reminding him of earlier rides through dark times when dreams of a better life kept him alive. As the two wind through a changing cityscape, Chris reflects on past lessons that offer powerful guidance for dreaming your way to monumental success.

At its heart, this book lays out a blueprint for building a dream-come-true life--even during uncertainty. Gardner delivers the secrets to achieving a prosperous career--from a method for identifying your ultimate dream to a playbook for becoming world class at it. His tools include the "new 3 R's"--or the Rep, the Rap and the Rolodex--which reveal how to earn a stellar reputation, develop a rap for marketing yourself, and amass a Rolodex of rewarding relationships. No matter how much wealth you achieve, Chris notes, true success comes from enriching the lives of others--so all can still have access to the American Dream.

Toward the end, Brooke observes that in Atomic Time it's never too late for anyone to reinvent themselves and change their fortune. Chris, hearing her, realizes what his next pursuit will be--to go back to high school and give permission to dream to the next generation of problem solvers and change makers.

A true fable, Permission to Dream is a timeless and timely manifesto for turning dreams into action--beginning right now.

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Chris Gardner

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